Barnes Bashers, a youth tennis team representing Youth Tennis San Diego, won a record sixth World TeamTennis Junior Nationals Championship on Thursday, defeating USTA Texas Wild 45-29 at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, California. The WTT Junior Nationals, which is hosted by Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King and is now in its 19th year, is a national junior invitational event featuring 16 coed teams from throughout the USA.
The teams, with players representing 17 states, play the World TeamTennis format during their three days of non-elimination draw competition. The Barnes Bashers seemed determined from the outset to improve upon their 2013 runner-up finish, jumping out to an early 10-8 lead after the first two sets of doubles. The Bashers split girls’ singles with Texas’ Nikita Pradeep of Sugar Land, Texas, edging the Bashers’ Victoria Robertson of San Diego, 6-5.
In the second set of girls’ singles, Lindsay Brown of San Diego added to the Bashers lead with a 6-2 victory over Reagan Collins of Lubbock, Texas. Tom Witteveen of La Mesa, California, and Steven Chen of Rancho Bernardo, California, both added wins in boys’ singles to give Barnes a 10-point lead heading into the final two sets of mixed doubles. Witteveen and Robertson teamed for a 6-4 win over the Wild’s Pradeep and Eric Morris of Corinth, Texas.
Chen and Jwany Sherif of El Cajon, wrapped up the championship for Barnes with a 6-2 mixed doubles victory over Nick Glover of Austin and Riley Reeves of North Richland Hills, Texas. The Bashers coach is Wolf Von Lindenau. This was the sixth title for a team representing Youth Tennis San Diego, and their first championship since 2009. The Texas Wild, who took their name from the professional WTT team of the same name, are coached by Bobby Reeves.
Intermountain 1 Hit Wonders, representing USTA Intermountain, defeated the San Diego Attackers 43-38 in the third place match. Hawaii Lanakila, representing the USTA Hawaii section won the Maureen Connolly Brinker Team Spirit Award which is voted on by coaches, players and tournament officials for a team’s outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie. Lanakila received a $1,000 check along with the award.
Team members of Lanakila are Erin Jyo of Mililani, Tristen Bryant-Otake of Kailua, Katie Natori, Braxton Chong, Seann Esaki, Riley Adachi, all of Honolulu, and the team’s coach is Mimi Kennell.